It has been a few month’s since I published one of these so a brief background on Microbe of the Month for any new readers might be in order. It turns out, in addition to wasting my time writing on Medium, I also have a real job. This job affords me certain liberties vis a vis my seniority vs. the the rest of the persons employed in said job. As such if I want to send out a ridiculous mass email to everybody once a month I am free to do so, obviously within certain limits. Of course, the whole idea is that these are educational for our young staff many of whom are fresh out of college and most of whom did not study microbiology as undergraduates. Management has been (mostly) supportive or at least turned a blind eye so far. The kids seem to enjoy them and I get a kick out of it. I usually also through a trivia question and prize in to make it a little more interesting for everyone. In any event there is an entire mythology/world wherein resides Microbe of the Month. It only exists in my head but it is one crazy place. Often times I have to redact certain words and in some cases entire sections as what is published here cannot suggest in any way where I work or certain other information that might be detrimental to my career if it were learned that I published it online. Today is no exception and unfortunately I had to remove a big chunk of this one which makes it quite a bit shorter. That is probably a good thing as everybody complains about how long I make these. Lol! Complain away, it will do you no good!
Editor’s note: Holy smokes I can’t believe it but a mere 1 year ago this month Microbe of the Month™ published its’ very first edition. When I first approached Wall Street with the idea to launch a monthly mass email based newslike edutainment psuedopublication focused primarily on microbiology I was mocked soundly and went home in tears. Well look who’s crying now Wall Street fat cats, you are, hah! Ok, I’m crying too but it’s because my wife left me for that snake in the grass Bill Tamberson in accounting, not because I was called an insane lunatic by some rich snob bankers. Maybe we have not yet figured out exactly how to monetize it and have had to file for both Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but MOTM™ continues to thrive. We could not have done it without you, our loyal fan base. Your dedicated (forced) receiving and reading of this little newsletter is the only reward we need. So keep on reading and if we are lucky, and can stave off the bill collectors for just a little bit longer, maybe we can make it another year.
T.D. Eddington III — Editor In Chief At Large, MOTM® HQ — Xenia, Ohio, September 2017
Greetings laboratory nerds, office jockeys, management types, and assorted riff raff,
The chill you may have felt in the air at night the past few weeks can mean only one thing, global warming is a hoax. Kidding, it actually means that summer is coming to an end and fall is rapidly approaching, and that means my favorite season, winter, is just around the corner. A time when the barren empty landscape combines with the bitter cold, freezing winds, and endless darkness to produce a feeling of melancholy in some or, in my case, trigger major depressive episodes punctuated by brief periods of extreme mania. These are the times when I am at my most creative. Luckily my doctors have figured out how to medicate all that creativity right out of me so I should be fine this year. In any event we, meaning us, meaning myself, and the entire staff of MOTM® are back from our various summer activities and ready to kick off yet another year of exciting mass email based microbe focused edutainment.
First, there will be no trivia question this month and thus no prize. Sorry about that but our entire accounting department staff never returned from their summer “workshop” in the French Riviera. I have to stop authorizing these staff outings to such nice places.
We get a lot complaints at MOTM. Because of this I had asked our janitor to lock the complaint box for the summer but for some reason it seems he no longer works here. I mean he still works here in the sense that he gets paid and shows up, however he no longer does any work, he just sits in the lunchroom or hangs out in the stairwells most of the day every day. Long story short he did not lock the box and it was stuffed to the gills when I finally got time to open her up this week. 90% of the complaints said the same thing….”What about viruses man?” After a few moments reflection I realized I had forgotten what the heck I was doing and wandered the halls for about ten minutes staring blankly at things. Finally I regained my senses and realized that these anonymous complainers had a point, we have sorely neglected our viral friends and that ends today with this month’s topic, SV40.
What is SV40 you ask? It is a virus I answer, and then I laugh because that was pretty funny. After that I get serious and start telling you some things you may (or most likely did not) know about it. [Section Redacted]
[Section Redacted] You would think there would be a point to that digression but there is not for the SV40 virus full sequence was actually worked out and published years before in 1978 at the University of Ghent in Belgium. Belgium? What? Yep, that’s right, it turns out the Belgish can do some pretty good science in addition to make very fine wheat beers. [Redacted]
What about SV40 itself, what is so interesting about it besides the [Redacted]? As it turns out quite a lot and much of it revolves its connection to the polio vaccine. Since I have already gone on way too long and am really tired I will simply link to the article on Wikipedia about it. As usual take what you read there with caution but for the most part I believe it to be accurate. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SV40. Enjoy!
We need topics for next month and we promise to have trivia back up and viable by then. Please send your suggestions by reply here or stop by HQ anytime to discuss.
T. Timmerson IV the IIIrd
President, CEO, Vice-Principal, and Commodore for life
Microbe of the Month©